Sugarcane Bay Leaves Some Divided

November 3, 2006
Reported by Vince Atkinson

You may remember that a wide array of local business and elected leaders from all over Calcasieu Parish made a public show of support Thursday.   They were indorsing a "yes" vote on the November 7th election regarding Sugarcane Bay.   Friday the opposition spoke out against the project.

While the concept of a new casino being constructed next door to the current L'auberge du Lac may sound like a good plan to some, not everyone agrees.   The Neighbors for Calcasieu Recovery strongly oppose the idea.   The main concern is due to the fact that if approved, Pinnacle Entertainment plans to move the location away from Downtown Lake Charles.   Jerome Ringo with the Neighbors for Calcasieu Recovery said, "So you are moving an important element in our community completely outside of our community. Thus, we lose the benefit of that element.   It's simple mathematics."  Representatives with Pinnacle say they will donate the old Harrah's property to the City of Lake Charles for some kind of new development.   The company also would like to move an additional gaming license away from Lake Charles in order to build a casino in the Baton Rouge area.   Myra Bennett with the Neighbors for Calcasieu Recovery said, "I believe that taking a river boat license to Baton Rouge is going to take away necessary revenue and add unnecessary taxes to our community.   That is why I am voting no."      Sugarcane Bay supporters believe just the opposite will happen.   They feel the new facility will create more jobs than Harrah's old location and generate more taxes for the local community.     The vote for Sugarcane Bay is this coming tuesday, November 7th.   7 news will have full coverage of the election returns as soon as the polls close.